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Conformity and individuals’ response to information about aggregate turnout

Blais, André and Hortala-Vallve, Rafael (2020) Conformity and individuals’ response to information about aggregate turnout. Political Behavior. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0190-9320

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11109-020-09595-5


How do voters react to information about aggregate turnout? Do high turnout levels mobilize or discourage citizens to vote? We argue that it depends on individuals’ degree of conformity. We argue that in addition to the classic calculus of voting, conformist voters have an added incentive to ‘follow the pack’ and vote when turnout is high while abstain when turnout is low. We conduct two separate experiments, the first a survey experiment with a representative sample of the UK population and the second a lab experiment in Canada. Both studies confirm our hypothesis. These findings highlight the importance of taking individuals’ level of conformity into account when explaining their decision to vote or abstain.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 10:12
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:41

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